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MLB Draft: Review of Dodgers 2014-17 first-year player assignments

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Alex Verdugo was drafted out of high school and played his first season on the two Rookie-Level teams
Oklahoma City Dodgers

Last Sunday, 2017 first-round pick outfielder Jeren Kendall talked to the media about his signing with the Dodgers and he said that at some point, he would be playing for the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League.

On the surface, that does not seem too unusual for a first-round pick to advance that much in his first year, but is it something that happens a lot?

What about current top position prospect, Alex Verdugo, who was drafted out of high school, where did he play in his first year?

To answer those questions, I went back and reviewed the first-year assignments for players drafted from 2014 through 2017. This first part will be about position players and tomorrow, the second part will be about pitchers.

I started with 2014 to compare how the prior development team did it and to see if the current development are doing anything different.

59 position players that were signed from those four drafts, including 42 from a four-year school, nine from a junior college program, and eight out of high school.

Kendall’s comments about playing in the Midwest League seem spot on. Of the 34 college position players that were drafted from 2014-2016, 17 played at one or both Class-A teams.

Contrast that with Alex Verdugo, who played most of his first season for the AZL Dodgers and then he went to the Pioneer League and played five games for the Raptors.

So far the only non-four year school player to play above AZL or Pioneer League is Willie Calhoun, who finished his first year with Rancho Cucamonga in the California League.

I also looked at playing time and I did not find any real pattern. Eighteen of the 46 position players had 200 or more plate appearances, and overall, 38 of those players had 100 or more plate appearances.

On the other hand, 2015 draft pick Edwin Rios played in just 22 games with 82 plate appearances in Rookie-level baseball but two years later, he is a prospect playing for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

One final thought: if you look at the below list, you’ll see that only four position players drafted and signed in 2014 are still playing for an MLB organization in 2017. And one of the four, Matt Jones, is now trying his lot as a pitcher for Ogden.

Tomorrow, I will take a look at the history of the pitchers that were drafted by the Dodgers in the last four years, will they be any different than position players? We’ll see.

2014 - 2017 Signed LA Dodger Position Player Draft Picks

Year Rnd OvPck Name Type Pos 1st Yr-Rookie Level 1st Yr - Highest Level 2017 Org 1st Yr - G 1st Yr - PA 1st Yr - H 1st Yr - HR 1st Yr - BB 1st Yr - SO 1st -Yr OPS
Year Rnd OvPck Name Type Pos 1st Yr-Rookie Level 1st Yr - Highest Level 2017 Org 1st Yr - G 1st Yr - PA 1st Yr - H 1st Yr - HR 1st Yr - BB 1st Yr - SO 1st -Yr OPS
2014 2 62 Alex Verdugo HS OF Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 54 216 67 3 20 18 0.932
2014 5 159 Jared Walker HS 3B Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 38 128 24 1 20 34 0.694
2014 8 249 Hunter Redman 4Yr C Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 18 50 11 2 3 13 0.691
2014 10 309 Colin Hering 4Yr OF Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 47 169 43 3 14 24 0.818
2014 14 429 Kelvin Ramos JC SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 33 100 20 0 9 16 0.574
2014 16 489 Devan Ahart 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - Midwest N/A 64 280 89 2 16 26 0.840
2014 17 519 Tyler Wampler 4Yr SS Yes Class-A - Midwest N/A 44 126 22 0 14 22 0.470
2014 18 549 Clint Freeman 4Yr 1B Yes Rookie - Arizona N/A 32 104 29 2 7 26 0.830
2014 20 609 Brian Wolfe 4Yr RF Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 40 122 26 3 6 13 0.650
2014 21 639 Ivan Vela 4Yr SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 48 155 42 3 15 32 0.822
2014 23 699 Andrew Godbold 4Yr LF Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 21 65 15 3 7 12 0.869
2014 24 729 Jimmy Allen 4Yr 2B Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 53 207 52 0 6 35 0.694
2014 25 759 Matt Jones JC OF Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 23 73 12 0 7 33 0.472
2014 26 789 Deion Ulmer JC 2B Yes Rookie - Arizona N/A 37 129 28 0 7 29 0.574
2014 28 849 Billy Bereszniewicz 4Yr OF Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 46 151 38 0 9 15 0.721
2014 30 909 Brant Whiting 4Yr C Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 25 80 24 0 13 9 0.980
2014 32 969 Scott De Jong 4Yr 1B Yes Rookie - Arizona N/A 35 130 24 6 15 47 0.734
2015 2 67 Mitchell Hansen HS OF Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 44 167 30 0 15 51 0.563
2015 4 132 Willie Calhoun JC 2B Yes Class-A - California Dodgers 73 323 90 11 35 38 0.909
2015 5 162 Brendon Davis HS SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 30 121 29 1 6 34 0.614
2015 6 192 Edwin Rios 4Yr 1B Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 22 82 19 3 7 30 0.784
2015 10 312 Logan Landon 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 35 147 35 2 14 19 0.744
2015 12 372 Matt Beaty 4Yr C Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 68 301 85 4 23 31 0.770
2015 14 432 Garrett Kennedy 4Yr C Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 35 143 16 1 16 18 0.705
2015 18 552 Chris Godinez 4Yr 2B Yes Rookie - Pioneer N/A 30 117 21 1 20 17 0.686
2015 21 642 Jake Henson 4Yr C Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 39 155 42 3 11 29 0.763
2015 22 672 Jordan Tarsovich 4Yr 2B Yes Class-A - Midwest Athletics 37 159 36 3 18 30 0.740
2015 28 852 Kyle Garlick 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - California Dodgers 60 257 81 9 16 59 0.987
2015 32 972 Nick Dean 4Yr SS Yes Class-A - Midwest N/A 62 242 61 3 23 37 0.765
2015 35 1062 Gage Green 4Yr C Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 65 274 80 4 26 43 0.895
2015 38 1152 Edwin Drexler 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - California N/A 18 19 6 0 2 8 0.774
2016 1 20 Gavin Lux HS SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 56 253 66 0 28 51 0.775
2016 1 32 Will Smith 4Yr C Yes Class-A - California Dodgers 55 245 51 4 29 50 0.684
2016 4 131 DJ Peters JC OF Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 66 302 92 13 35 66 1.052
2016 6 191 Errol Robinson 4Yr SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 55 243 62 2 17 42 0.732
2016 7 221 Luke Raley 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 66 275 69 4 18 50 0.801
2016 10 311 Kevin LaChance 4Yr SS N/A Disabled list Dodgers --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2016 13 401 Cody Thomas 4Yr RF Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 59 267 69 19 21 87 1.003
2016 15 461 Brayan Morales JC CF Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 4 9 1 0 1 5 0.472
2016 16 491 Darien Tubbs 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 64 271 60 2 23 43 0.661
2016 20 611 Brock Carpenter 4Yr 3B Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 55 235 46 5 34 55 0.764
2016 24 731 Saige Jenco 4Yr CF Yes Class-A - California Dodgers 56 248 65 1 29 41 0.817
2016 26 791 Brandon Montgomery JC 2B Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 58 258 78 8 21 46 0.954
2016 30 911 Ramon Rodriguez HS C Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.000
2016 31 941 Steve Berman 4Yr C Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 32 105 22 0 11 17 0.632
2016 33 1001 Zach McKinstry 4Yr SS Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 45 182 40 0 15 32 0.654
2016 35 1061 Nick Yarnall 4Yr LF Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 41 171 37 1 22 37 0.705
2017 1 23 Jeren Kendall 4Yr OF --- --- Dodgers --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2017 3 100 Connor Wong 4Yr C --- --- Dodgers --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2017 8 250 Rylan Bannon 4Yr 3B Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 8 34 14 3 0 6 1.252
2017 10 310 Zach Reks 4Yr OF Yes Class-A - Midwest Dodgers 8 31 8 0 2 6 0.753
2017 11 340 Jacob Amaya HS SS --- --- Dodgers --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2017 15 460 Marcus Chiu JC 2B Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 11 43 8 0 4 13 0.565
2017 20 610 Donovan Casey 4Yr OF --- --- Dodgers --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2017 23 700 Connor Heady 4Yr SS Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 12 42 9 0 3 11 0.619
2017 24 730 Preston Grand Pre 4Yr SS Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 8 28 8 0 2 4 0.757
2017 27 820 Jeremy Arocho HS SS Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 9 33 7 0 4 7 0.760
2017 30 910 Chris Roller JC CF Yes Rookie - Arizona Dodgers 10 32 3 0 7 4 0.549
2017 32 970 Tyler Adkison 4Yr OF Yes Rookie - Pioneer Dodgers 11 47 14 0 4 9 0.917
2014 - 2017 LA Dodger Draft Picks Position Players

** Note that the statistics and assignments for the 2017 drafted and signed position players are through July 11, 2017.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com for statistical resources